Saturday, October 1, 2016   

  Home     About     Guest Editorials     Advertise     Blog     Site Map     Links     Contact      Subscribe RSS      Subscribe Email  
Home » General

Women Role Models Inspire US Muslims

9 October 2012 General 12 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Growing up in the US, many young Muslim women want to hear of the examples of female Muslim leaders

Growing up in the US, many young Muslim women want to hear of the examples of female Muslim leaders

CAIRO – Stimulating a sense of pride in Muslim women, an umbrella Muslim organization has organized workshops to teach leadership skills and promote community engagement among females in Minnesota.

“We’re hoping to give them ways to improve and how to take the initiative,” Rana Mikati, an instructor at Rochester Community and Technical College and adviser of the Muslim Student Association, told Post Bulletin.

“As people follow in your footsteps, whatever you do, you’re a leader.”

Mikati was one of speakers at the event themed “Defining Ourselves: Reflections on Leadership and Activism”.

The workshop, designed to teach leadership skills and promote community engagement, was co-sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Najma Sharif, 17, a senior at Century High School, is one of about 40 people who attended the first Young Muslim Women’s Leadership Summit in Rochester on Saturday.

At the sessions, Sharif heard for the first time about Fatima al-Fihri, who founded Al-Karaouine mosque that developed into a place for religious instruction and political discussion.

The mosque was expanded later by Al-Fihri, the daughter of a wealthy Moroccan man, to teach natural sciences and become the first university in the world in 1959.

Becoming a state university in 1963, Al-Karaouine continues to be one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world.

“I’d studied Islamic women before,” Sharif said, “but I didn’t know about” al-Fihri.

An articulate, confident young woman, Sharif realizes her leadership potential.

“But this sets it in stone,” she said.

Attending the event, she’s accepted the challenge to improve herself.

She’s already taught Arabic and Qur’anic studies at the local mosque.

“But I could do a little more volunteering, using every opportunity I have to be a leader.”

Promote Responsibility

Growing up in the US, many young Muslim women wanted to hear of the examples of female Muslim leaders.

“Here in the US, there aren’t many prominent leaders that are women, particularly Muslim women,” Cheraghearzu Khalid, the spokeswoman for the Rochester Muslim Community Circle, said.

“Acquiring the skills of a leader is important; the best thing I could work on is my public speaking.

“I want to change the way Muslims are viewed, and (convey) it in a rational manner.”

Her daughter, Hajra Zaid, is a 15-year-old sophomore at Century who realizes people don’t always hear of the examples of female Muslim leadership.

The end result “is to encourage young Muslim women to enter careers in which they will be able to become civically engaged and make positive contributions to society, in keeping with the Islamic traditions of responsibility and citizenship,” Khalid said.

Sharif, the Century senior, hopes the workshop was a pilot for annual workshops.

“A leader is someone people follow from their hearts,” she said with a smile.

“Maybe we can get together and talk about this, if (Khalid) and her crew can pull another one together.”

The United States is home to an estimated Muslim minority of nearly eight million.

Original post: Women Role Models Inspire US Muslims

Share/Bookmark




12 Comments »

  1. “The mosque was expanded later by Al-Fihri, the daughter of a wealthy Moroccan man, to teach natural sciences and become the first university in the world in 1959″

    Eh?

  2. Just poor writing combined with poor editing Jane.

    Well the young girl in Pakistan who was just shot was a leader in a world where leadership has a price. Maybe these women should put together something to honor this young lady.

  3. First university in the world in 1959? What does that mean? 8 million is a disputed figure.

  4. reuters.com/article/2012/05/01/us-usa-religion-census-idUSBRE8401NK20120501

    says a little over 2 million up from 1 million in 2000. They just love to think they’re taking over.

  5. i think there is some mistake.. it might the first University in Moroncon ! the one who is activating cmnts,pls chk and clr this…

    i think date is a mistake…1959

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_al-Karaouine

    thank u

  6. KING-slave of ALLAH !,

    watch out for your use of wiki. some people here don’t like it.

  7. more good news for the possibility of hope within the islamic world.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19901277

  8. I thought the first university in the world was Nalanda, from 5-6 century, sacked by muslim turks in 1193 or 97. It’s typical of muslims for them to think they did the first everything.

    This uni they talk about dates from 859 says wiki.

  9. Probably a case of either disputing the definition of university, or simply a lack of research. It’s also an unfortunate tendency of history research to focus on the mediterranean and Europe when making historical milestones. For instance, evidence suggest the existence of a university at Ek’ Balam in the Yucatan around 800 AD, but few will ever hear of that…

    However, I do love the message of this story, encouraging empowerment and reform among women. Hopefully the positive changes occurring in many Muslim communities in the west will continue to influence more women in more repressive areas of the world.

  10. I know! Ek’Balam was done by muslims! Aiiee! The Maya were really muslims. Choke.

  11. siyaj k’ak,

    “encouraging empowerment and reform among women.” there needs to be reform? i thought the koran was perfection? would you reform the inheritance laws of shaira?
    “Hopefully the positive changes occurring in many Muslim communities in the west will continue to influence more women in more repressive areas of the world.” what? are you saying that western islamic values are true islam, and hopefully will backflow to the islamic world? don’t you know westerners aren’t allowed to criticise other cultures. you are a hateful bigot.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7342972.stm

Have your say!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>